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How to get hired at Google

Erin Delaney

Careers Commentator
We got the inside scoop on what it take to land a gig at Google - and what ‘Googley’ means!

We met with Stephanie Borgman, People Programs Specialist at Google’s Sydney office, to get her tips for students and graduates looking to get their foot in the door at Google!

1. Keep it simple.

The way to get an interview is through your resume, so that's where you will need to get started. Keep your resume clear, consistent and concise. Focus on results and impact, focusing on metrics rather than long notes. If you worked on a university project, be specific about projects you’ve worked on or managed. What was the outcome? How did you measure success? Think about what your audience wants to know: education, marks, experience, extra-curricular; the things that will make you stand out!

2. Focus on what sets you apart.

Each year over three million people apply to Google. People try to impress us with creative or silly applications. We once had a fake arm sent to us, with the candidate claiming they would give their "left arm to work at Google." These applications might get you noticed but at the end of the day we’re looking to match your skills and interests to jobs you’re excited about and the problems you want to solve. We’re looking for people who are excited to continuously get out of their comfort zone, to ask big questions and tackle new challenges.

3. Show us what you care about.

At Google we often say "bring your whole selves to work." We need a diverse workforce to represent the rich diversity of our users. Innovation and creativity flourish when a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences are contributed. Share with us what you are curious about and what inspires you, even if it's outside of university or work. We will always ask if this person brings something new and diverse in terms of perspective and life experience.

4. Practice and prepare.

If you are interested in a technical role, check out our guide to technical development at g.co/techdevguide. Think about what courses to take — Intro to Computer Science, Data Structure, Algorithms — and beyond. If you land an interview, be sure to practice technical questions and mock interview your friends. You can find sample coding questions on sites like LeetCode, CodeLab, Quora, and Stack Overflow. The book “Cracking the Coding Interview” (by Gayle Laakmann McDowell) is also a good resource. A myth is you need a technical degree to work at Google. We have jobs for business students too. For students outside of engineering, you’ll have the chance to highlight strengths in four key areas. We look for general cognitive ability, or how you think, your leadership skills, role-related knowledge (though probably least important) and, finally, 'Googleyness'. How do you demonstrate being Googley? Read on.

5. Be Googley.

This is what we call culture fit. It's not about fitting into a certain mold, but rather having a healthy dose of intellectual humility, conscientiousness, and comfort with ambiguity. Being Googley can be described differently by Google employees or ‘Googlers’, but ultimately it can be illustrated by the person who will do the right thing, even when no one else is watching. Share how you work individually and on a team, how you help others, how you navigate ambiguity, and how you push yourself to grow outside of your comfort zone.